I have not read any of the books in the Fifty Shades series by E L James and probably won’t. I have read enough about them to think that they would not really engage or inspire me. I have also read enough about them to be critical of the way sexuality and particularly BDSM are portrayed within those pages. On the other hand I can see that many women have both enjoyed and felt liberated by the books and if Fifty Shades Of Gray encourage women to be more secure and adventurous in exploring their own sexuality that is all good. I find it slightly depressing that it has taken this series of books to vindicate areas of sexuality that are as old as sex itself.
Sometimes it seems as if women (and perhaps men too) are only considered to be fine, moral, upstanding members of society if they act as if they are living in a Walt Disney movie of the 1950s. The truth is the world has never been like that and it is time for the enforced hypocrisy to end. Enjoyment of sex does not make somebody a bad person and a desire to go beyond the missionary position does not equal depravity. There are indeed far more than fifty dimensions to love and sex and we owe it to ourselves to explore those which intrigue us. In that way we grow, not just sexually but as whole people.
I have never really considered myself to be part of the BDSM scene as such, but I suppose to a degree I am. My only reservation is based on the fact that I often find basic, passionate, loving sex can be as mind blowing as more kinky forms of adult intimacy. However, I certainly do enjoy elements of bondage, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism in my sex life.
I guess by now I have quite a few fetishes and tastes that some might find kinky. Pretty soon after losing my virginity and realizing that I really enjoyed sex I started reading and experimenting… I am sure we all remember the first time we used hand-cuffs… Some years later I had a boyfriend who had a collection of Eric Kroll books. I found some of the images very sexy (being bisexual is a blessing!) and we began dressing up and role playing some of the photos we both enjoyed. I think that is where my
corruption I mean education really began.
Since then I have been fortunate in having lovers who are similarly adventurous and who are experienced and considerate enough to satisfy my desires and curiosity, to push me beyond my previous limits and to enable me to experience new degrees of sexual, emotional and intellectual satisfaction. (Good sex must of course stimulate the mind as much as the body). I like to think I have reciprocated just as generously.
Of course I am just one of billions of women who enjoy this sort of a sex life. Until recently however there has often been a degree of guilt or shame attached to many of these sexual practices by some sections of society. They have been seen as taboo, or forbidden, perhaps even perverted.
To a degree the forbidden element, the sensation of breaking taboos is part of the attraction of some BDSM activities and I wouldn’t want to minimize that aspect because it is part of the psychological cocktail that adds to the enjoyment. However I don’t think it is detracting too much from the overall pleasure of kinky sex to say that much of it shouldn’t be taboo and that in the twenty-first century we should not need to feel shy or apologetic for exploring the deeper levels of our sexuality.
“Know Thyself” is an ancient maxim that has always resonated with me. Perhaps that is one reason why I can’t divorce sexuality from spirituality or any other aspect of my life. It is also why I try to integrate the lighter and darker aspects of my personality and find a balance which makes me whole. I am not interested in shades of grey, I want to celebrate and enjoy the whole rainbow.
Which brings me neatly to Pleasantville…
Pleasantville was a movie I was dragged along to see against my will. For the first ten minutes it seems like a very average teen comedy. There are signs that it might be something more though… For a start the cast features Toby Maguire, Reese Witherspoon and Jeff Daniels who can all act and do… After half an hour you realize you are watching something rather special.
Pleasantville turns out to be a whimsical essay on sex, art, morality and fascism. If ever there was a movie that sums up my attitude to life, this would be it. It may be over sentimental at times, but it’s more serious points hit home. It is cleverly photographed in colour and black and white and is peppered with moments of magic and pathos.
It is not about bondage or kinky sex, but it is far more sex positive than Fifty Shades. Pleasantville is genuinely thought provoking and enlightening; if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you do.
Meanwhile, don’t be shy; have a sexy weekend!